Authorization of COVID-19 vaccine for ages 12 and up important step in protecting children during pandemic, says American Academy of Pediatrics

Statement by AAP Chairman Lee Savio Beers, MD, FAAP: “Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Approval Today by the Food & Drug Administration of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 12 Years and Older is an extremely important step in bringing life-saving vaccines to children and adolescents. Our youngest generations have borne heavy burdens for the past year and the vaccine is a hopeful sign that they will experience all the activities that are so important to their health and development.

“We look forward to the discussion by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which will make recommendations on the use of this vaccine in adolescents. Meanwhile, pediatricians are on hand to assist in the effort to administer these and other COVID-19 vaccines.

“It is essential that children are vaccinated against COVID-19. According to data collected by the AAP and Children’s Hospital Association, more than 3.8 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic in the United States. Although fewer children than adults have suffered from the most serious disease, it is not a benign disease in children. Thousands of children have been hospitalized and hundreds have died. We will soon have a very safe, very effective vaccine that can prevent so much suffering. I encourage parents to talk to their pediatrician about how to get the vaccine for their adolescents once they become eligible. “

The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists, and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and wellbeing of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Visit www.aap.org for more information.

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